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Echo Buds 2 vs AirPods Pro (2021): Should You Save Or Splurge For The Same Features?

If you haven’t heard, Amazon’s Echo Buds got a major upgrade this year. Called the Echo Buds 2, they’re now smaller, more comfortable to wear, and sound better as well. Because of these improvements, people are comparing them to the Apple AirPods Pro and saying that they’re a cheaper alternative. But can they really measure up? To help you answer this question, here’s an in-depth comparison of the two wireless earbuds that covers their design, audio quality, and additional features.

Echo Buds 2 vs Apple AirPods Pro Comparison Chart

ModelEcho Buds 2Apple AirPods Pro
 All-new Echo Buds (2nd Gen) | Wireless earbuds with active noise cancellation and Alexa | BlackApple AirPods Pro
PriceCheck PriceCheck Price
Swappable Ear TipsYesYes
Ear Tip TestYesYes
Water ResistantIPX4 RatingIPX4 Rating
Active Noise CancellationYesYes
Passthrough Mode YesYes
Voice AssistantSiri, Alexa, and Google AssistantSiri only
Battery LifeUp to 5 hours of playback (15 hours with charging case)Up to 5 hours of playback with ANC turned off (24 hours with charging case)
ChipNoneApple’s H1 chip

Design

Thanks to the upgrades on the Echo Buds 2, they’re on par with the Apple AirPods Pro in terms of comfort.

Echo Buds 2 vs AirPods Pro design
Both the Echo Buds 2 (left) and the Apple AirPods Pro (right) come with various ear tip sizes.

The Echo Buds 2 are a lot smaller than the original version which is great news because now, they fit nicely inside the ear instead of jutting out. Thanks to the size reduction, they’re also more comfortable to wear. Speaking of comfort, the Echo Buds 2 come with four different ear tip sizes as well as a three extra wingtips. The wingtips are a thoughtful inclusion, especially for those who workout a lot and need a snugger fit. There’s also an ear tip test you can take to determine which size fits you best. In addition, the Echo Buds 2 are designed with little vents which help release any pressure trapped in the ears.

Because of these upgrades, the Echo Buds 2 are on par with the Apple AirPods Pro which also come with swappable ear tips and an ear tip test. You can wear both of these wireless earbuds for hours on end without feeling any pain or discomfort in your ears. In addition, both the Echo Buds 2 and the AirPods Pro come with slim charging cases which you won’t have any problem slipping into your bag or pocket. Another design element that they have in common is their IPX4 rating. This means that they can survive your sweaty workouts in the gym but no more than that. Definitely keep them out of the pool.

Audio

The Appe AirPods Pro edge out the Echo Buds 2 in terms of ANC and audio quality.

Echo Buds 2 vs AirPods Pro audio
The Apple AirPods Pro (right) provide a more immersive experience than the Echo Buds 2 (left).

Because many saw the Echo Buds 1’s Active Noise Reduction (ANR) technology as a shortcoming on Amazon’s part, the Echo Buds 2 were given Active Noise Reduction (ANC) to make up for it. According to Amazon, this new ANC feature can cancel out twice as much noise and it does seem to be an accurate claim.

You can expect a good number of external sounds to be blocked out including tv noises, talking, and the whirring of appliances, although it’s not powerful enough to mute high frequency sounds. If you’re outside and need to able to hear everything that’s going on around you, the Echo Buds 2 actually have a handy passthrough mode which allows ambient noise to come through. What’s great is that you can customize the amount of noise you can hear via the Alexa app.

The real question though is, does the Echo Buds 2’s ANC feature beat that of the Apple AirPods Pro? The answer is not quite. While the difference isn’t staggering, discerning ears will be able to tell that the AirPods Pro provide a more immersive experience and are able to keep out more noise. But if you’re worried that they might be too closed-off, they have a transparency mode which functions similarly to the Echo Buds 2’s passthrough mode.

As for audio quality, the Echo Buds 2 deliver a much better bass performance than their predecessor. They have a stronger kick to them while still managing to sound tight. However, we have to give this round to the AirPods Pro because they have a more powerful and balanced sound to them that’s a lot more enjoyable to listen to.

Additional Features

The Apple AirPods Pro‘s features cater to iOS users while that of the Echo Buds 2 are more inclusive.

Echo Buds 2 vs AirPods Pro features
The Echo Buds 2 (left) can support Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant while the Apple AirPods Pro (right) are only compatible with Siri.

One of the biggest fears of any wireless user is losing the earbuds they paid so much money for. Fortunately, the Echo Buds 2 are equipped with a Find My Buds feature. Just call out to Alexa and she’ll locate your missing earbuds for you. Another feature that’s coming to the Echo Buds 2 soon is the VIP Filter which automatically filters out calls and messages from people who aren’t part of your VIP list. One more noteworthy thing about the Echo Buds 2 is that they spoil you for choice when it comes to voice assistants as they’re able to support Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant.

As for the Apple AirPods Pro, their features are geared more towards iOS users. Equipped with Apple’s H1 chip, the AirPods Pro are extra easy to pair with your Apple devices and switch between them. The H1 chip also allows for handless Siri access, a feature that comes in handy whenever your hands are full. Another neat feature you can enjoy with the AirPods Pro is Audio Sharing which lets multiple AirPods and Beats users connect to a single iOS device and experience the same music, audiobook, or movie at the same time.

While their features are quite different, the battery life on these two models aren’t too far apart. You can enjoy up to 5 hours of listening time with the Echo Buds 2 which extends to 15 hours with the charging case. As for the AirPods Pro, they can last up to 5 hours on a single charge too but only when the ANC is off. Turn the ANC feature on and you’re looking at four and a half hours at best. Fortunately, their charging case carries up to 24 hours of listening time.

Verdict

The Echo Buds 2 win against the Apple AirPods Pro for having the same features for a fraction of the cost.

Given that the Echo Buds 2 are a fraction of the price of the Apple AirPods Pro, they’re easier to recommend to a wider spectrum of listeners. Despite their affordability, they’re already equipped with ANC and are able to deliver a decent audio performance. In addition, they boast of extra features that make the listening experience a lot more convenient. As for the Apple AirPods Pro, they cater to a more niche market and are definitely not for everyone. If you’re immersed in the iOS ecosystem, are more discerning when it comes to audio quality, and are willing to shell out more, then they might be for you.

FAQs

๐Ÿ“Œ Are the Apple AirPods Pro worth it?

The Apple AirPods Pro are definitely not for everyone. But if you’re already immersed in the iOS ecosystem, want good active noise cancellation (ANC) and audio quality, and ready to shell out a hefty sum, then they might be worth considering.

๐Ÿ“Œ Are the Echo Buds 2 worth it?

Yes, we think the Echo Buds 2 are a great steal. Despite their affordability, they’re equipped with features that are similar to those of the Apple AirPods Pro. This includes active noise cancellation (ANC), passthrough mode, and voice assistant support.

๐Ÿ“Œ Which one has better active noise cancellation, the Apple AirPods Pro or the Echo Buds 2?

The ANC on the Echo Buds 2 is good but that of the Apple AirPods Pro is more powerful and can block out more external sounds. But given the price of the Echo Buds 2, the difference in ANC capabilities is easy to forgive.

๐Ÿ“Œ Which one should you buy, the Apple AirPods Pro or the Echo Buds 2?

It’s easier to recommend the Echo Buds 2 because they pretty much have the same features for a fraction of the cost. But if you have a more discerning ear and you’re willing to shell out more, then the Apple AirPods Pro might be for you.

Last update on 2021-07-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Denise Jose

Senior Editor at Compare Before Buying. Researcher and yoga teacher passionate about article writing, photography, wellness, and mindfulness.